Thanks for all the Trip Reports. It sounds like the wind has caused debris problems on some trails, but I had a wonderful day on Redearth creek.
Conditions have improved considerably with yesterday’s tracksetting. Shadow Lake Lodge has done a good job of getting the trail in shape for the weekend’s guests.
If you’re considering skiing there, the lodge offers afternoon tea on Fridays and Saturdays to day trippers from 1- 4 pm for $18.
When I checked the Banff trail report this morning and saw that Redearth creek had been trackset, I decided it must be in good enough condition to use my “race car” skis, rather than the “farmer” skis which I used on Sunday.
The air temperature at 12:30 pm was -4°C, and the snow was -7. The texture of the snow was a bit on the sugary side. VR45(-2/-8) worked well. There was a dusting of new snow in the tracks.
The grooming has greatly improved conditions on the first 1.5K. It’s still not what I’d consider to be good conditions by most standards, but for Redearth creek it was very good. I had no trouble descending on my skinny skis at the end of the day.
The worst of the bumps have been smoothed out, and my teeth didn’t rattle at all when returning. I was following Bruce for the final 4K and I was feeling so confident that I took a dozen photos of him while on the fly.
Unfortunately a hiker left big divots in the trail for the first 5K. Bruce and I tried to ski over his tracks as best we could to reduce the size of the icy chunks which he created. They weren’t icy today, but they will be tomorrow.
I went all the way to Shadow Lake Lodge, but first took a short detour to the warden’s cabin. Total distance to the cabin is 10.6K. I noticed the corral and hitching post were gone. I guess that signals the end of an era.
It was sunny and warm, no wind, blue sky at the Redearth creek bridge where I stopped to have some lunch. This is at the confluence with Pharoah creek, and just a few metres from the warden’s cabin.
The final 2.8K to Shadow Lake Lodge is a snowmobile packed trail. It starts out with a very steep hill which you have to walk up. It gains 60 metres of elevation over a distance of 300 metres, which is an average 20% grade. That’s steeper than any of the .5K steepest sections on Risto’s Hill Pain Score.
After the steep hill, the trail has roller coaster hills for about 2K, then flattens out. The forest opens up and the spectacular views present themselves.
From Shadow Lake Lodge to the lake it’s a further 1K but the trail didn’t look like something I wanted to tackle today.
Between 9k – 10.4K the groomers have widened the trail and made it spacious enough to accommodate a skier track and a snowmobile track. There was no track here on Sunday. The widened track was made over previously unpacked snow, so my pole baskets were breaking through.
Bruce told me that he originally went to Cascade valley to ski, but conditions were icy and poor. I expect that’s the situation on all the other Banff trails including Goat creek, Spray river, Healy creek, Sundance canyon, and Brewster creek.